Sunnies Studios, an eyewear company founded by model Georgina Wilson and other celebrities, has found itself in hot water after allegations have surfaced that it had exploited its former workers.

The allegations became public when Sunnies announced last week that it would donate all of the proceeds of its sales to communities affected by Typhoon Vamco, which the Bicol Region, Cagayan Valley, and Pampanga province.

Instead of lauding the initiative, many Filipinos accused the company of failing to pay its former workers. One of the netizens shared a post written by a certain Nina Amoncio, who alleged that one of Sunnies’ former employees had been waiting for her final pay for the past nine months. The former worker, named Regina Ligon, had reached out to Wilson and the company’s other owners, but they allegedly failed to respond to her pleas.

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Amoncio later updated her post to say that Sunnies had already paid Ligon. However, she mentioned the name of Tuguegarao Mayor Jefferson Soriano. The father of Sunnies’ co-founder Bea Soriano-Dee, with his family in Batangas while floodwaters inundated his hometown. His weekend getaway became public after his daughter shared an Instagram photo, which showed themselves relaxing in Batangas, but the image had since been deleted from Dee’s account following widespread outrage.

Mayor Soriano and an electoral fraud case but remains in power in his hometown.

In a message to Coconuts Manila, Amoncio said that Sunnies has already settled with Ligon, but we have yet to verify this claim.

Other allegations about Sunnies’ anomalous labor practices also surfaced on Twitter. Someone using the handle @finallyclean117 shared posts from former workers, including Ligon, saying that they have yet to receive their separation pay from the company.

 

Coconuts Manila has reached out to Sunnies Studios about the issue, but they have yet to respond as of writing. Meanwhile, critics continue to attack Sunnies and its owners, with a certain @keeshtsantos urging the public to boycott the brand.

“You don’t need shades, and your money might go somewhere else. The father of one of the owners has a ton of corruption cases, right? Better entrust your money to reliable organizations who will actually put [your] donations to good use,” she said.

Image from Sunnies Studios IG
Image from Sunnies Studios IG

Aside from Sunnies Studios, Wilson and Dee also own the makeup brand Sunnies Face and the restaurant Sunnies Cafe.

Wilson, considered one of local fashion’s “It Girls” in the early aughts, was a former girlfriend of Borgy Marcos-Manotoc, the son of Senator Imee Marcos and the grandson of dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include the claim that Sunnies has already settled with Ligon.

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